Add protein = gain muscle – I don’t think so…

November 25, 2013 by  
Filed under Nutrition Tips

Protein = Muscle?

Many trainers would like to have you think so – but simply eating more protein won’t ‘create’ more muscle. I’m sorry folks, but the only way to build muscle is to strength train regularly. Getting enough protein is an important component to building muscle, but don’t be fooled into thinking eating protein = gaining muscle (look around you, you don’t see all those carb-a-phobs growing pipes do you? The proof is in the pudding).

In fact, if you’re consuming more protein than you need (and hence more calories), your body is just burning this extra food as fuel. Keep in mind that our body’s currency is sugar. That’s right; your excess protein is being turned into sugar for fuel and to the detriment of your kidneys too I might add.

So, how much protein is too much? The recommended daily allowance for protein is 0.8g per kg body weight. There is good research out there suggesting that a little more than that is a good thing and for those of you trying to gain muscle mass – more like 1.2g protein per kg body weight should be the goal. If you are 150lbs, that’s 68kg so 68kg x 1.2g protein = about 82g protein per day. Some good sources of protein are listed below with their typical protein content:

Meat, fish & shellfish = 7-10g per oz

  • Cottage cheese = 16g per ½ cup
  • 0% Greek yogurt = 18g per ¾ cup
  • 1 cup milk = 9g
  • 1 egg = 6g
  • 1oz cheese = 7g
  • Beans/lentils = 9g per ½ cup
  • 1 oz tofu = 5g

So you see, as a weight lifter – if you eat ½ cup cottage cheese with breakfast, have a tuna sandwich at lunch, have Greek yogurt as a snack and 4oz chicken for dinner, you’ve already met your needs – never mind the protein found in the other foods you eat throughout the day. My advice, skip the protein powder ;)